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Love Prescription: Ending the War Between Black Men and Women

Love Prescription: Ending the War Between Black Men and Women

by Jeffrey Gardere PH.D.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
These books both discuss black culture but take different approaches. In her prior books, including 10 Good Choices That Empower Black Women's Lives, psychologist Cornish taught women about self-love. Here, she presents a blueprint for creating and sustaining love in a relationship. To help women "attract their individual soul mate on a higher spiritual level," she emphasizes never settling for less than "healthy love"-that is, long-lasting and honest love-while making many references to the Bible and God. Although encouraging and folksy, Cornish offers little how-to advice. On the whole, this book feels random and disorganized; section titles overflow with Johnny Cochran-isms (e.g., "The Healthy Fix Is To Get God in the Mix"). Still, this will hearten the distressed, and Cornish's dedicated audience makes demand certain. Psychologist Gardere (Smart Parenting for African Americans) literally compares the struggle for stability in African American male-female relationships to war. Using a handful of real-life couples as examples, Gardere conceives and champions posttraumatic slavery disorder (PTSD) as the root of this war. PTSD manifests itself as negative mental and behavioral patterns, "shame, degradation, and self-hate," which doom blacks "to act out our buried anger and pain through repetitive negative and dysfunctional relationships, especially with each other." Such passionate cultural criticism, however, obscures individuals and their problems; Gardere views black men and women as pawns of the larger culture and does not delve into interpersonal issues as Cornish does. Though noble and keen (especially when debunking stereotypes, e.g., "all black men are dogs"), Gardere fails to provide real guidance; for larger libraries and where demand warrants. Readers would do well to rediscover Harville Hendrix's remarkable Getting the Love You Want, which does not distinguish among races. Also consider Deborah Mathis's articulate Yet a Stranger on contemporary race relations and Michael Datcher's Raising Fences, a very personal memoir of rejecting stereotypes. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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